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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

January 15, 2016

Problems and Promises

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

Who can say that he never has problems? We can have them when we least expect them or are not prepared for them. Sometimes they can make us feel like we are on a roller coaster: We are going along just fine, and then all of a sudden we experience a big "drop". Everything seems to go wrong.

But for us as Christians problems and trials are part of our life. The apostle Peter reminds us: "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:6-7).

Sometimes we can be discouraged by a problem because we think we do not have the strength to cope with it. Do you realize that that can be true? We can receive the strength we need to cope in such cases from our creator, the source of joy, happiness and courage. We can we do to cope with our problems and not become disheartened?

We can meditate on God's great power, remembering all the things that God has done in the past and will continue to do to fulfill His great plan for mankind. If we view our problems with God's plan in mind, they appear to be much smaller!

We can also count on God's promise: "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).

That doesn't mean that everything is already good when a problem first affects us. The verse isn't telling us that it is great right when you lose your job or when your children become rebellious. What it means is that every situation can serve our best interest if we met the challenge according to faith, allowing God to guide us.

How can we know if we are putting God first in our problems and trials? We can take a quick test by asking ourselves whether we share our problems with Him: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).

We should bring our problems to the throne of grace, knowing that our creator will never abandon us if we continue to seek Him: "He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we may boldly say: The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6).

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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